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10/21/2010
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Clover Holdings To Pay $13 Million For Sex.com

The provocative URL was put up for sale after owner Escom filed for bankruptcy in July.

After arousing interesting from a dozen bidders, Clover Holdings won ownership of the sex.com domain name.

Former owner Escom was forced to put the potentially lucrative URL up for grabs after filing for bankruptcy in July. Clover, an offshore holding company based in the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, put in the winning bid of $13 million.

Lawyers representing Escom asked the California bankruptcy court overseeing the proceedings to approve the transaction, and requested that domain name trading platform Sedo receive its commissions, according to court papers. The attorneys requested that the deal is approved by Oct. 27, documents said.

"The proposed sale to buyer was the product of arms-length, good faith negotiations in which the debtor bargained for maximum possible purchase price for the assets," Jeffrey Dulberg, Escom attorney, wrote in a court document. "The negotiations involved substantial time and effort by the parties... and [the agreement] reflects give-and-take and compromises by both sides."

If Escom had been unable to reach a deal, sex.com was scheduled to go on the public auction block next week, according to published reports. Sedo handled the negotiations.

Little is known about Clover Holdings, which used privacy-conscious email provider hushmail in its court documents.

Sex.com has had a lurid past. In the mid-1990s, Stephen Cohen took away the domain name from Gary Kremen by forging a letter to Network Solutions. Escom bought the site for a reported $12 million. Cohen was later convicted, then released from prison in 2006. In fact, there has been some speculation online that Cohen could be behind Clover Holdings' acquisition of the domain name.

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